We asked members of our Green Team Leaders Network for their tips, advice, and tricks on running successful Green Teams. Here's the top 10.
Use these tips to help kick start a Green Team in your office, lab, or School.
"Get together a small group and agree on achievable goals. The sense of accomplishment from reaching these goals will generate lots of momentum."
–Claire Reardon, FAS Center for Systems Biology
"Make sure to hold Green Team meetings on a regular basis (quarterly works best for our group). Hosting year-end and year-beginning celebrations is a good way to set "green goals" and a great time to check-in to make sure you're meeting them/reporting progress to date. Celebrate both fiscal year-end and beginnings as well as calendar year-end and beginnings. That way you can involve your greater community in the updates, not just your Green Team."
–Kim Salley, Alumni Affairs and Development Green Team
"Feel free to work on issues across departments, divisions, schools, and campuses. It can spread out the work load, encourage collaboration and learning, and is a fun way to meet people who are doing something similar or completely different from you."
–David Havelick, Harvard Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team
"If you don't have them involved already, do whatever you can to get your Building Services leadership on board. Infrastructural projects that may never be seen by the public are the backbone of legitimate efforts. They allow for a more nuanced pitch to non-engaged citizens. Building Services can be instrumental in project approval/support, data collection and monitoring, as well as instituting wholesale changes that force behavioral change by occupants."
- John Aslanian, Graduate School of Design Green Team
Partnerships don't stop at building services! Fostering strategic relationships and partnerships with departments across your School allows for broader communication and involvement in sustainability efforts. For example, as a result of partnering with Human Resources, many Schools have incorporated sustainability into their new hire orientations.
"Come up with a 12 month campaign schedule to focus on different sustainability topics each month. For example the Green Team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Business School dedicate March activities to water awareness and October to energy. This promotes sub-committee groups spurring off to spearhead specific activities related to the monthly themes."
–Allison Webster, Senior Sustainability Coordinator, Harvard Business School and Harvard Graduate School of Education
"Brainstorm about priorities and interests and create subcommittees to work on certain projects and issues that are the most doable and the most popular among Green Team members."
–Harvard Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team
"One of things we have at Harvard Law School are subcommittees that are involved in their own projects. For example, I run the Waste Reduction subcommittee, and we also have committees for outreach and events."
–Carrie Ayers, Harvard Law School Green Team
"Don’t take yourselves too seriously! Even though sustainability work addresses very serious concerns, you’ll get more active participation if you lighten the mood. The EcoOpportunity team is always trying to make the Longwood community laugh a little by putting cartoons, memes, and jokes in the stairwells during the Take the Stairs campaign, hanging an irreverent newsletter in the bathroom stalls, and holding a trivia night and the occasional happy hour."
–Caitlin Key Alfaro, Harvard School of Public Health
"Create a newsletter, blog, Facebook page, etc. to get the word out about your events, resources and how people can get involved! The EcoOpportunity team sends out a monthly email newsletter, nicknamed the “EcoMosquitio,” that also hangs in bathroom stalls to spread the word about sustainability around campus."
–Katrina Rudnicki, Harvard Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team
"If your School has offices in buildings that are somewhat far away from the main parts of the campus, satellite green teams will help keep momentum going. The Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team has created satellite green teams at Smith Street, Tremont Street, and Landmark Center for their Campus."
–Jen Doleva Bowser, Harvard Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team
"ALWAYS recognize and show appreciation for your Green Team volunteers and members! We've connected with the School's Human Resources department to create certificates for green team membership to go in each participant’s file and we encourage Green Team members to talk with their supervisor about their Green Team work so everyone is on the same page and recognizes their contribution and volunteer work."
–Harvard Longwood Campus EcoOpportunity Team
Employees are also recognized for their sustainability efforts at the annual Harvard Heroes celebrations, and Green Team projects are celebrated at the Green Carpet Awards, the Office for Sustainability's biannual recognition event. Nominate a fellow team member or let us know about your projects!